A business developer at the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp. was honored with a statewide award during a conference this week in Fargo.
Brandon Baumbach, the EDC’s director of business development, received the Economic Development Association of North Dakota’s Economic Developer of the Year Award. The office of Gov. Doug Burgum, the North Dakota Department of Commerce and the EDND presented the Governor’s Choice Economic Development Awards during the EDND Fall Conference in Fargo.
In addition to Baumbach’s award, the Grand Forks EDC received EDND Project of the Year recognition for its work with Core Scientific. Both awards were in the large-community division.
Also this week, Becca Cruger, the EDC’s workforce development manager, and contributing team members were awarded the 21st Century Workforce Award at the Main Street Summit Tuesday in West Fargo.
According to an EDC release, Baumbach has worked at the EDC since 2016 and has been the lead developer on more than 50 business retention/expansion projects. He helped the city and the local Jobs Development Authority launch StartUp GF and Accelerate Grand Forks, and he is among the founders of Evolve Grand Forks/The 701.
"Brandon has done an incredible job in his role as lead business developer for the EDC," Keith Lund, president and CEO of the EDC, said in a release sent to the media. "He’s worked on many successful projects and has earned the respect of businesses and community leaders alike. I’m very pleased Brandon has received this award and is being recognized at the state level for his accomplishments and impact on the region."
Said Baumbach: “I am honored and humbled to be recognized by the EDND for this award. Recognition for work worth doing on behalf of the Grand Forks community is immensely gratifying.”
Lund received the award in 2018.
The EDC’s award for Project of the Year was for its work with Core Scientific, which is developing a data center in Grand Forks. According to the press release, the EDC coordinated “overall business support for the project including site visits and programs applied. Responsive and aggressive leadership (both local and state) played a key role in project success. … The entire $114 million project was negotiated and developed over the next four months – all possible due to key leadership.”
Tuesday at the Main Street Summit, Cruger and contributing members of her work team were given the 21st Century Workforce Award for work on the Greater Grand Forks Relocation Guide, the “What’s Cooler Today?” blog, and InternGF, a program that has increased local internships for UND students.
“I’m honored that the governor recognized all the work that we have done on these workforce initiatives. These projects and programs would not have been possible without our amazing partners at UND, the city, the county, the CVB, the Chamber and regional industry,” Cruger said in an EDC release. “I’m thankful to be part of such a collaborative community that shares the passion of making the Grand Forks region a great place to work and live.”